Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Queen of the Spring Fairies

It's March and the signs of spring are all around, at least here in my part of North Carolina.  The days are slowly getting longer and warmer.  My daffodils are in bloom and there are colorful buds on some of the trees.  I feel like singing... but since I don't want to scare any children or small animals with my screeching I'll just celebrate by posting my Fairy Queen instead.

I have lots of fun playing outside of the box - twisting, turning and re-colorizing items till I arrive at something fun and new.  It's kinda like being Scarlet O'Hara when she rips the drapes off the rod to make her green velvet gown.  I figure if Scarlett can do it - I can too!

Queen of the Spring Fairies
It took a bit of trial and error to get my Fairy looking like she
belonged on a St. Patrick Day card , but I think I've finally got it right!

So here she is, my Queen of the Spring Fairies!

This Celtic Fairy was created using digital images from PaperWhimsy.  
The background and frame were free Internet finds.

Here are the elements I used to create my scene.

The Original PaperWhimsy Maiden Image.
I altered her coloring, finished her sleeve, removed some of the bulkier fabric 
and flipped her around so she faced the other direction.

Her hair is now red, her gown has a finished sleeve and is shamrock green with gold trim.
I gave her new colors in Photoshop using the layers pallet and the Color mode setting.
Her clothing was altered using a combination of the Clone and Erase Tools.
I then merged all the layers and created a PNG file.

There are many ways to do things in Photoshop and as a beginner I'm learning as I go.  There does not seem to be any hard set, right or wrong way to do things so long as your outcome works for you.  Any steps I show are just how I choose to do something and are for those who are like me and wonder "How did she do that?"

One thing I have learned in the process is that I need to save a lot of files as I work on a project.  Most importantly, to save the PSD files.  When I altered and colored my lady, I saved the PNG file so I could later build the fairy scene on a NEW blank Photoshop screen but I did not save the PSD file with all the correcting and coloring layers.  This was a mistake on my part and one I hopefully won't make again. Oh well, live and learn. 

 This great curtained doorway became the base of the Fairy's skirt.
I altered the color and removed the tassel embellishment in Photoshop.
I then used the "Warp" mode to re-shape it.

 The "Warp" function allowed me to play the virtual seamstress 
and shape the skirt.

I used the new version of this image several times 
in a variety of layers, to create the final skirt.
The newly "warped" image was used as the top most visible layer for the skirt
construction and that became the building block for the other skirt layers.  
6 image layers in total were used to create my Scarlet O'Hara curtain skirt.

Crown number 3 was customized for my lady.

A bit of color alteration and then "Warp" was used to re-shape the crown.
Edit - Transform - Warp...a bit of time and I have an new look.

 The middle mask was used to create the fairy wings.
I changed the color and altered the shape using the Clone and Erase Tools in Photoshop.

 A variety of alterations were made to the original mask,
to get my Fairy wings.

 The Erase Tool was used to get rid of portions I was not going to use.
The Clone Tool was used to fill in the eye hole.
Then a new Style and Gradient was added to give me more 
shimmer and a rainbow color.

 A beautiful Peony for her hand

I used the top element of Butterflies
to flutter around her head.

Put them all together and here is my Fairy Queen
I chose to flip the direction of my Fairy so she faced left.

The background for the above image is also by PaperWhimsy
I altered the color in Photoshop with a combination of 
Selective Color and Exposure adjustments
in the layers pallet.

 All these great PaperWhimsy Products can be found at


With such a beautiful Fairy Queen she needed a magical setting so I searched through my 
storehouse of digital images and was able to create this Enchanted Forest for her.

This backdrop was created using a great tree image,
a mystical texture image and "warp".


 I started with this great free wallpaper download of
from www.coolhdwallpapers.com

This basic scene was great but I wanted a more magical forest look; so I 
squished the sides in a bit using the Edit - Free Transform option on the main toolbar
and added the texture shown below to set the mood.
I also cropped out the excess from the right edge of this image.

I used this great texture for a bit of enchantment.
by GlamourousAcid-Stock at deviantart.com

I wanted the scene to have some bright patches of light shining in; so I did not use the texture to cover the entire forest.  I added this texture in several places using a combination of the Multiply and Darken mode layers.  I re-sized and used "warp" in several places to get the texture to mold around the trees and grass so I would not have sharp, square edges where it was added in.  The mystical feel this added to the finished piece, especially around the small opening at the end of the tree line was just the look I was going for.

Finally my scene needed a frame to finish it off.
This is the original Frame image I started with
 Free frame by Maria.G at mgdezigns.blogspot.com 
Click HERE for link to the free frame download on her blog.

I made some alterations to the frame in Photoshop 
I adjusted the color of the frame to get most of the pink out of the edges, using a 
Selective Color adjustment layer to decrease both the Reds and Magentas pallets;
then I increased they Yellow pallet.

I created a duplicate layer of the frame that had a bronze pattern - FX "overlay.
Under it I had a mat in the same bronze pattern I used as an overlay to the frame.

I merged these two layers then added drop shadow and Inner Glow
from the FX option in the layers pallet to get the final look.
The mat extend to the edge of the frame, intensifying the final look;
and then the fairy scene goes between the two covering the center portion and just
barely tucked in under the inner edge of the frame.

 This is what the final frame without the Fairy Scene looks like.

Put them all together
and you get the finished version of 
"Queen of the Spring Fairies"

 If you look really closely you can see some of the round, glowing orbs from the texture
layer here and there.  These could be enchanting spells, pixie dust or other fanciful creatures in flight.
You never know, anything is possible in the land of the Celts.

I hope you have enjoyed my Magical March posting and give it a try yourself.

I want to thank all those who made this digital art project possible:

PaperWhimsy for all the elements that make up the "Fairy Queen".
www.coolhdwallpapers.com for the Louisiana Oak Alley Park image.
 GlamourousAcid-Stock at deviantart.com for the Fairytale Bokeh texture.
Maria.G at mgdezigns.blogspot.com for her Gold Frame image.

Till Next Time...

Grins and Giggles,


  1. absolutely beautiful! And thank you for taking the time for
    the tutorial!
    Much appreciated:)

  2. This is just FABULOUS and so nice of you to share! Love her and your blog is so so pretty!

  3. this is a mesmerising piece Evelyn!!!! You took many steps to create the final piece and as a very novice beginner I so appreciate your tutorial!Linda K

  4. Thanks Denise, Betzie and Linda!

    I'm new to Photoshop and having so much fun with it I can't help but want to share my journey. I figure if I document my steps here I will be able to reference back to it myself when I ask the question - How did I do that? - giggles

    There is much to learn and many ways to do things in Photoshop; so I'm glad you guys are enjoying the ride with me.

    Happy creating to you all,

  5. Wow . . . absolutely unbelievably gorgeous!

  6. Your work is gorgeous and inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks so much Jann & TheaterMan.
    I'm glad you enjoyed my Fairy Queen project, she was a lot of fun to create. I look forward to creating some more tutorials in the near future.

    Grins and Giggles,

  8. Just ran across this via Pinterest. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Can't wait to wade through it and see what I can learn from your skills.

    1. Hey Christine - I'm so glad you dropped in for a visit.
      I had a lot of fun in creating this project so I hope your find the tutorial helpful.

      Please keep in mind there are many ways to do things in editing software packages like Photoshop and this are just the steps on how I was able to create the final artwork.